Video Blog

We think our hardware finishes are pretty special.  Each is unique and hand done.  Have you ever wondered how we do it?  This is our first ever video blog post and you can see how we make our antique brass finish.  The video was made in house, with original music and editing done by our very own Pablo Alvarado.  Check it out, its a little less than 4 minutes long.  Please pardon the intro and outro, this was our first time and the delivery still needs some work.

 

 

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Discreet Luxuries

Do an online image search for “luxury kitchen” and you’ll see that there is an even bigger design decision homeowners have to make when choosing a refrigerator. It is not Sub-Zero or Liebherr but rather whether or not to hide the biggest kitchen appliance behind a custom panel matching the cabinetry.

Pictured is a recent application of the Bakes Appliance Pull (BB-1) in action.  This traditional kitchen outfitted in white cabinetry flawlessly integrates a twin refrigerator and freezer set into the overall kitchen design. Just imagine how such large pieces of kitchen appliances would change the feel of the space if the exterior finishes were not wood cabinetry but stainless steel. By using the Bakes Appliance Pulls, the kitchen design disguises industrial sized appliances with furniture-like panels. Thus, maintaining a warm, homey aesthetic that would otherwise be undermined by professional grade refrigeration.

Different factors will contribute to the decision making process.

Are coordinating panels in the budget?

Whether you are planning a $1,000 remodel or a $100,000 remodel, everyone is working with a budget. That means certain things on the wish list may go unrealized. While refrigerator door panels used to be associated with custom cabinetry, more middle grade cabinet lines are offering this option. Still, this finish choice for your refrigerator is an added cost; the finished cost will increase once you add matching appliance handles.

What is your design aesthetic?

Matching appliance panels contribute heavily to the clean, integrated look modern design enthusiasts seek. Kitchens with old–fashioned aspirations benefit from the look of custom panels, disguising appliances that would detract from a period look. Traditional kitchens also reap style rewards when appliances are hidden behind cabinetry, blending the kitchen seamlessly into the now ubiquitous open floor plan.

Are there appliance handles that match your cabinet hardware?

Most people choose to hide the refrigerator behind matching panels to create a serene, suited look. Don’t undermine this by neglecting to match your appliance pulls to your cabinet hardware. When beginning the cabinet hardware selection, save time by seeking out hardware lines that have knobs, pulls, and appliance hardware.

This past year, Horton Brasses increased appliance pull offerings and now includes 5 different appliance pulls that coordinate with the other kitchen hardware. Whether you are interested in seductively clean curving lines for a modern kitchen, historically accurate Macintosh pulls for an Arts & Crafts restoration, insanely elegant handles for that classically bespoke British affect, or really want to make a statement in your kitchen with hefty bin pulls or barn-like iron grips, Horton’s got it.

What did you do in your kitchen? Did you put that big fridge on display or did you integrate it into the look of your cabinetry? Was appliance pull selection a factor for you when choosing your kitchen cabinetry hardware?

9 Cabinet Hardware Pieces To Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving

What would Thanksgiving be if it weren’t for Plymouth Rock, football, and the Macy’s Parade? Probably just a bunch of overfed relatives and corduroy skirts that do nothing for your figure. Oh, and editorial lists reminding you what you have to be thankful for this year.

Hey, just because I blog for a reproduction cabinet hardware company doesn’t mean I can’t get in on the “to be thankful for…” editorial fun. In fact, I’ve come up with a list of almost 10 pieces of Horton Brasses cabinet hardware that will inspire you to pause and be grateful for all that Horton Brasses has added to your Thanksgiving celebration.

1) The Beehive Knob

You will be happy you kept a few extra on hand for family gatherings such as this. The grooved surface provides and improved grip over traditional smooth knobs. Is your 12 year old nephew looking to show off his juggling skills? Forget the tennis balls he brought with him. Now’s the time to recognize his impending manhood and allow him to use the heavy artillery. Just be sure to push the glass coffee table out of the room.

Need to prove your entertaining chops to your mother-in-law, Ms. Wanna-Be Martha Stewart herself? Screw The Beehive Knob onto the end of an unsharpened pencil (I recommend using a #2) and impress everyone with your craftiness. You’ve just fashioned a honey dipper. Can you say “upcycled?”

2) Polished Nickel Latches

Remember when you were a teenager and your aunt would hold an entire conversation with you with spinach stuck in her teeth and you were horrified that she had spinach stuck in her teeth because how could she not know she had spinach stuck in her teeth? Or maybe it wasn’t spinach. Maybe it was a big glob of lipstick on her tooth. I still don’t understand that one. But seriously, as I near forty, I have become the aunt with spinach stuck in her teeth.  Like, all the time. Even when I haven’t eaten spinach!

And let me tell you, my husband is no helper. Either he doesn’t notice the spinach stuck in my teeth or he thinks it’s supposed to be there because he doesn’t say anything to me.

Thankfully, you don’t need a husband because you have the polished nickel cabinet latch. This latch will tell you if you have spinach stuck in your teeth so shiny you can use it as a mirror. Do so. In between dinner and dessert, before you serve the coffee and laugh gratuitously at your Uncle Donny’s jokes.

3) Queslett Appliance Pull

Isn’t Thanksgiving great because you get to get dressed in all sorts of autumny clothes. Cable knit sweaters and corduroy skirts and textured tights and turtleneck cashmere. Oh no! You wore all that together? And your sister just bought a new DSLR and thinks she is going to photograph every family moment of coziness? Does this outfit make my butt look big?

Yes, it does. But fear not. The Queslett appliance pull does quite the opposite. It’s hefty brawn is the appliance handle equivalent of dating a line backer. Stand next to it in the family photo and look miniature by comparison.

4) The Bakes Pull

Tired of all the meaningless small talk at Thanksgiving? Want to stir up some meaty political debate at the holiday table but having trouble diverting the discussion from Demi and Ashton’s divorce?

The Bakes Pull allows you to easily segue into a relevant political debate without interrupting the flow of conversation traffic. Just put on your best British accent and say, “Excuse me Goody Amber, but have you noticed this kitchen hardware from Goodman Bakes?” At this point Amber, being only 11 and thus having never read The Crucible, will be rendered speechless by your affect and the adults can then regain control of the dinner conversation.

5) Crescent Pull

No calories, unlike those crescent rolls that went straight to your hips (see #3).

6) Antique Brass Pulls

Is that patina on that bin pull or did your daughter-in-law just all together give up cleaning? This intentionally aged looking hardware finish will send your mother-in-law into a housecleaning tizzy. Enjoy a hard drink while she coyly tries to snoop through your cabinets for the brass polish.

7) Ring Pulls

Who formally entertains these days? Hardly anyone, thus the disappearance of the formal dining room. But you’ve worked so hard on the Thanksgiving meal. Do it full justice and honor your guests with cloth napkins. Pull it together last minute with this cabinet hardware that will do double duty as napkin rings.

8) Forged Iron Knobs

Vegetarians coming to dinner and don’t know what to feed them? Me neither! Fortify their meal with iron and avoid the pasty pallor of malnourished pilgrims at your table.

9) Extra Hardware

Did you order two or three extra knobs and pulls when you did your remodel? Yeah, so did I. What a waste of money since this stuff is solid brass and won’t break. Re-purpose those leftover pieces by creating a centerpiece even Wanna-Be Martha Stewart (see #1) wouldn’t think of.

Fill hurricane glass with the leftover hardware and set it in groupings of three on your dining table. Basically, anything shoved into hurricane glass and grouped in threes equals “décor.”

Going Modern With Macintosh

Okay.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

The Macintosh style pulls from Horton Brasses are one of my favorites.

Sure. Charles Rennie Macintosh was a turn of the century architect who died in 1928 at the too-young age of 60, but the organic, minimalist lines of his designs beckoned an era of modernist design.

Which is why I think these pulls (also available in coordinating appliance handles) go so well with the MCM design aesthetic.

But don’t just take my word for it. This morning, while doing my daily rounds on the internet, I spotted this photo from Clayhaus Ceramics, a super cool independently operated handmade tile studio out of Portland.

Now, this is not Horton Brasses’ pull pictured here, but obviously, the styling is similar. Not sure if those are bamboo cabinets or some type of veneer but the slab doors, Macintosh style hardware, and muted retro colors definitely build a look.  All of the lines are clean. There is nothing extraneous. Yet the details—vessel sink, wall mounted faucets, multi-colored offset tile, exotic looking cabinet wood, and gently curved cabinet hardware—all add layers of richness.

When considering a modern design in your kitchen or bath, don’t feel that your only option is the European bar pull. Yes, it is tried and true. But other, less obvious, designs also work. The hardware used in the above picture stopped me in my web crawling tracks.

What, in this bathroom, grabs your attention?

Readying Your Home For A Buyer’s Market

What’s the real cost of selling a home? Sure, you are familiar with real estate agent commissions and staging fees, but do you really need to upgrade your kitchen when that 15 year old range has served your family’s needs just fine? Do you think the new owner will want to choose their own finishes and decorating touches? That’s how I, as a buyer, thought. However, a lot of people just don’t have the time to deal with a renovation and chaos after going through a move.

The New York Times just ran an interesting piece by C.J. Hughes highlighting an obstacle that I am all too familiar with. Psst, Seller: Your Stove Is Showing Its Age chronicles the tribulations of New York City sellers trying to unload their homes on a disappointing real estate market. What’s the secret to sellers’ success? According to Michael Garr of the CORE Group NYC, it’s renovating to sell.

Refinishing wood flooring, ripping out closets to make a designated eating nook, fixing shaky stairs—it’s all been done in an effort to move a property.  And in case you are wondering, the cost of the renovations (some teetering at the $100,000 mark) is not recovered in the sale price. Simply, selling a property is incentive enough.

Which made me think—yeah, maybe you only plan to be in this property for 10 years, but that’s no reason to put off a remodel since when you do list it, people expect nice and new. Might as well get some enjoyment out of it yourself!

So what can you do to ready your house for a buyer’s market?

Even though you probably won’t recoup the costs, the best place to unload your shekels is still in the kitchen and bath. Updates to these rooms give the biggest impact when showing a home. Here are 8 tips to get your kitchen and bath ready for its close-up!

1)   Change out the appliances. Yes, there is a lot of buzz in the design world whether or not stainless steel appliances have overstayed their 15 minutes of fame and date a kitchen as totally 90’s. However, that’s a rather niche conversation. For the majority of people shopping a house, stainless steel appliances are considered de rigueur. So much so, stainless steel ranges are available as low as in the $400’s to sky’s the limit pricing for big gun pro-styles like Blue Star or Viking. Choose accordingly depending on what is appropriate for your real estate market.

2)   Install new countertops. Both bathrooms and kitchens will benefit from this upgrade. Again, like stainless steel, the design world is experiencing granite fatigue. Who cares. You are not designing a space for the pages of Architectural Digest. You want to sell and people like shiny things. Granite is an easy, universal countertop choice and you can get as expensive or as budget as you like with it. Other solid surface ideas gaining popularity and prestige include quartz and concrete.

3)   Pay attention to tile. At the very least, give your grout a good scrubbing. There are professional services for hire that will save you some elbow grease. Depending on the condition of your grout, you may want to have the backsplash or shower surround regrouted. Another option is to have the tile reglazed. This will save you a lot of mess and instantly beautify your kitchen or bath. The most expensive option is to tear out the old and put up the new. Because tile is available in a vast array of materials, sizes, colors, and designs, this option can really let you make an eye catching statement and set your property apart from the others.

4)   Clean those cabinets. And paint them. Or just replace them altogether! Cabinets are usually the most expensive part of the kitchen. Again, depending on your market, it may be worth it to go the route of custom cabinetry. However, many homebuyers will be happy with well-scrubbed cabinetry in good condition. If your cabinets are old and stinky, consider replacing them with a line that will compliment the style of your home. And remember, a fresh coat of white paint can take transform dated 1990’s honey glazed maple cabinets into 2010’s on trend look.

5)   Update hardware. Maybe your cabinets are looking good after a nice scrub down with a vinegar and water solution. You saved money by saving your old cabinets but now is the time to bring it with style by splurging on new knobs and pulls. Nothing will grab a buyer’s attention like chunky polished nickel cabinet hardware.

6)   Look down. Is your flooring gross? Whether your wood is scratched, your linoleum is lackluster, or your tile is grimy, invest money in your flooring and add to a feeling of cleanliness in your kitchen and bath. Wood? Consider a new sanding. Tile?  Work on that grout. Vinyl? Tear it out!

7)   Let there be light. A well-lit kitchen or bath will definitely highlight all the good you’ve done! Show off the updated space by adding new fixtures and under cabinet lighting.

8)   Shower luxury on the bathroom. High-end showerheads that deliver a spa experience at home are an excellent selling point, catering to people looking to make their home a haven. Details like this distinguish a property.

Yup, it’s as easy as 1-2-8.

This Old House Ranks Horton Brasses Pulls Amongst Best New Home Products of 2011

You know the year is coming to an end when editors start rolling out their “Best of 2011” lists. Here at Horton Brasses, we have a few of our own favorite products, including the Bakes, Queslett, and Crescent Pulls—all newly added to the catalog in 2011. But don’t just take our well informed, albeit biased, opinion. Editors at This Old House Magazine chose Horton Brasses’ hardware amongst the Top 100 Best New Home Products of 2011.

Behold the Queslett Pull, #94 on the TOH list:

Talk about smooth operators—these boxy, sand-cast-brass bin pulls raise the game for cabinet hardware by marrying a pleasing heft with a liquid-metal look. We see them in a crisp white kitchen, where the three sizes can shine on various pieces, from spice drawers to dishwashers.

The Queslett Pulls are personal favorites of both Orion and mine. To actually touch one is to love it. We are talking brawn and beauty here. The tactile pleasure of the Queslett is difficult to capture in a flat image, but the exclusive honor of being the only cabinet hardware on a list of 100 fabulous products bears testimony to it’s uniquely detailed quality. Amongst an abundance of bin pulls, the Queslett stands distinctly alone.

Borrowing the name from the Queslett region of Birmingham, the design of these bin pulls is the result of collaboration with the finest English cabinetmakers. Inspired by a tradition of classic bespoke kitchens, the Queslett integrates advances in craftsmanship with the continuity of timeless style. Unlike other large sized bin pulls, the Queslett is machine screw mounted. With hidden screws, nothing detracts from the extraordinary finish of the pull—the crown jewel of your cabinets.

Horton Brasses is thrilled to receive such an honor from one of the industry’s top authorities on old house restoration. Much thanks to the editors of This Old House Magazine.

Do you have a favorite new product from Horton Brasses? Tell us which knobs and pulls caught your attention in 2011.

Bad Hardware!

Three Terrible Hardware Mistakes Not To Make

Whether sprucing up a vintage kitchen or choosing hardware for a new space, it’s easy to make a few boo-boos while trying to make a statement. Some people have the gift of visualizing design details, some people are talented at Photoshop for mocking-up a space and some people, well…some people made these choices.

Let’s critique.

Pull Placement

Where on the door face to mount hardware? If you’ve ever gotten a brand new cabinet with no holes drilled, then you’ve definitely agonized over this question. Here’s what Horton Brasses owner Orion has to say on this topic:

The handles should always be centered on the drawer. Anything else makes it appear very off balance IMHO. With traditional furniture there is currently some debate about how and where to locate the handles. The historically correct answer is simply “where they look good”. IE, they should be visually centered even if not actually centered. With graduated drawer sizes they eyes can play tricks. I think the same logic applies to kitchen drawers.

Thank you, Orion! Now, can anyone tell me what’s “off” in the above photo?

Fake Hinges

There’s ornamental hinges and there’s fake hinges. Look at this picture and tell me which category you think this very beautiful piece of cabinetry falls into? Unfortunately, the desire for period-inspired decoration was not well thought out. Someone should have consulted a forum of experts before drilling into the immaculate doors.

Notice I did not say doors + face frames.

Bluntly put, these hinges just don’t make sense. They are mounted on the doors but do not attach to the cabinet box. Plus, the center doors don’t have hinges at all. Oh, sad cabinet. It is painful to watch.

Ghetto Un-Fabulous on the Cheap

Do you need a tissue? Are you crying or laughing? A little of both? I understand. Really. Because I know the proprietor of these cabinets and she is crying and laughing every day over this disaster.

This house is a rental built circa the 1960’s. Obviously the owner switched out the original hardware from pulls to knobs. Now, I know that people don’t want to blow a whole lot of money on a rental. And I would never tell someone to go buy Horton Brassses luxury suite of Bakes Pulls for a rental (unless that rental was in the Hamptons!). But really people. Head over to your big box store and buy some eighty-nine cent pulls before you commit this travesty.

A Latch For Every Door Style!

New & Improved

Remember the cabinet-latch liquidation sale? That was big. But you know what? It’s over now!

Instead of great cabinet latches at a fantastic price, Horton Brasses is now offering FANTASTIC cabinet latches at a great price. Our newest version of the classic latch looks exactly the same on the outside but has been totally upgraded on the inside. The springing mechanism will out-perform any other latch on the market.

Here’s what Orion has to say about these latches:

There are many varieties of these on the market today. Not only do most work poorly or fail after frequent use, they cost a small fortune! If you are installing these in your kitchen, the last thing you want is failure. Before we made this latch ourselves, we sold several other vendor’s latches and found we were repairing most before sending them out. This is now our third generation latch and it works beautifully. The mechanism is durable and has a wonderfully smooth feel. We guarantee the latch for 5 years and the springs are replaceable. We pride ourselves on making hardware that lasts. I am proud to say you will not find a finer latch on the market at 3 times the price, and even our competitors agree with that!

Love latches but I don’t have inset doors…

Blogger Vincent Scordo used Horton Brasses Hardware in his kitchen. Here is a great close-up shot of the pantry latch mounted on beautiful white inset cabinets.

It’s true. Cabinet latches, pantry latches, icebox latches—they were typically seen on inset door styles. But not everyone is willing to shell out 20% more for this door frame style. Don’t fret! Your kitchen cabinets can carry off the charm no matter what style door or frame you go with.

Frameless

Frameless cabinets are just that—a box without a frame in the front. These are often called European overlay since that’s how they make cabinets in Europe (I’m assuming). Scherr’s and Ikea are big manufacturers of this style in the U.S. and it will give you the most useable interior space since there is not frame to block the interior.

Select butt doors to mount latches on this type of cabinet. This is important because the cabinet latch is a two-part hardware. One door will display the latch while the other has the catch. Obviously, it can’t work unless two doors butt up against one another.

Partial Overlay

Also known as “affordable,” this cabinet style has a bad reputation for being uncool. It’s not uncool! I love it! I selected it for both of my remodels and am making it my life mission to preach it!

Honestly, I’m no woodworker so I don’t quite get how you would mount this but check out this pic:

Any experts out there want to chime in? Do you need custom hardware? I’m assuming the catch would need to be built up somehow to meet the latch.

Full Overlay

By far this is the most popular and readily available cabinet style in the U.S.  It is the opinion of some that full overlay can, when using certain door styles, emulate the look of inset. What do you think?

Whether or not you are trying to trick that look, you can definitely mount latches on full overlay cabinets just as you would on frameless. Again, the key is the butt door.

Do you love the look of latches? How would you use them in your kitchen?

Only 1 Day Left To Enter & Receive a 10% Off Coupon!

Only 1 day left for the Horton Brasses Kitchen Hardware Giveaway Contest.

Wait.

Let me say it again. This time with feeling.

ONLY 1 DAY LEFT FOR THE HORTON BRASSES KITCHEN HARDWARE GIVEAWAY CONTEST!!!!

I understand this is a strange contest. If you win, you are obligated to use the hardware. And if you are in the midst of a remodel, you need to hold off on getting your hardware installed because you just might win the contest.

Pfffft. Logistics.

The reality is, Orion is planning—no…HOPING—to give away a few grand worth of hardware to someone with a boomin’ kitchen plan.

But, there’s a catch. When I wrote up the contest, Orion slipped in this caveat: 25 people must enter before the contest is legitimately on. Twenty-five! Right now there are only 8 entries. That’s 32% of the needed entries to have this thing really be on.

Orion is a man of his word. That’s how he’s able to run a small business on an old-school professional model. He can’t go back and delete the caveat from the original contest rules, even if I’ve contemplated trying to hack into the HB Blog dashboard to do it myself.

But to show he really wants to give away all this fancy new hardware, he’s throwing out a bribe, er…I mean “incentive” to get people to enter.

Enter your kitchen and you automatically receive a 10% discount on Horton Brasses hardware in addition to any other bulk discount in which you may qualify.

So, everyone wins! Even if there is not a contest.

Please take a look at the contest blog. All of the entries are beautiful representations of great taste. I’m so happy that these homeowners are sharing their kitchens with us since remodeling is one heck of an exciting time. Every picture is a great resource for future remodelers looking for inspiration and ideas.

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Disguising Modern Amenities in a Victorian Remodel

Victorian Bin Pull in polished nickel

Any Canadians in the house? May 23rd marked Victoria Day for our neighbors to the north. To celebrate, Corey at Design Kula commemorated the day with a post on Victorian sculleries. I love the picture he posted of the dish drying rack over the huge sink! His post inspired the Victorian snoop in me and I started searching other images of authentic Victorian kitchens, keeping an eye on the hardware, of course.

I stopped my scroll down dead in my tracking pad when I came across this remarkable period restoration of a Victorian kitchen in Portland. Posted on Old House Online last year, the article documents the pains Kim and Roy Fox took to get their museum-like kitchen right. Even though the hardware source is not mentioned, I knew the maker right away–Horton Brasses!

If it wasn’t for the homeowner’s desire to hide the electronic advances of their new kitchen, the hardware may not have been showcased in the photo gallery. This particular shot shows off a clever design solution. The pull hides the dishwasher’s cycle display.

Kim & Roy Fox went for period accuracy when they remodeled their Portland Victorian home. That’s why they chose Horton Brasses hardware—known for its period accuracy.

I personally have this pull in my kitchen in two different finishes—antique brass and polished nickel. It is also on the Horton Brasses website in dark antique and light antique brass. So I’ve seen this Victorian inspired pull in 4 out of 7 available finishes.

Well, now make that five.

Dark antique, light antique and polished nickel finishes. Is it just me or does the finish really transform the mood of these pulls? The dark antique looks staid, conservative and simple. Even though it is a decorative pull, I could see it in a Shaker or Mission style kitchen. Light antique is putting off a strong Victorian vibe to me. And the polished nickel is making me feel very 30’s, 40’s, 50’s; very glam Hollywood Regency.

My kitchen, my pull. Antique brass subdues the decoration, making this ornate pull an unexpected detail in an otherwise simple kitchen.

I am not sure what finish the Fox family used, but my guess is bright brass. Orion, you want to weigh in on this? What’s interesting to me is that look of the pull really varies depending on the finish.

Because of the sand cast relief design, the finish of the bright brass and polished nickel is quite dramatic. Only the raised areas are polished, so the recessed sections remain darker and non-reflective.